’s St. Louis transportation station is a transfer point for seven of the company’s major bus routes, so there’s regular service available to Chicago
, Kansas City, Memphis
, Indianapolis and points beyond. In addition to its downtown station (it shares the St. Louis Gateway Transportation Center with Amtrak), Greyhound also services the Bus Port at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport. Megabus offers service from St. Louis to Chicago and Normal in Illinois and Columbia and Kansas City in Missouri.
offers five daily runs north to Chicago (5 ½ hours) and two runs west to Kansas City (6 hours) from its newer downtown St. Louis station, which opened in 2008. Called the St. Louis Gateway Transportation Center, it’s located on 15th Street just steps from the Civic Center MetroLink light rail station. The west suburban Kirkwood train depot is also on the Amtrak Kansas City route.
Lambert-St. Louis International Airport (STL)
is located 15 miles northwest of downtown St. Louis. MetroLink light rail, GoBest Express Shuttle and Interstate 70 connect the two. If you drive, allow at least a half-hour at rush hour to drive between the two. (Rush-hour traffic flows into downtown in the morning, out to the airport in the afternoon.) Among the 13 carriers that fly here, Southwest Airlines is by far the most active, with 83 daily departures. American Airlines recently downgraded its St. Louis transportation status from hub status and drastically cut service, but still offers 36 flights daily to nine cities.
*MetroLink charges $2.25 for a one-way ride, regardless of the distance you travel. A one-day pass costs $7.50. *You can purchase tickets at Ticket Vending Machines (TVMs) located in every MetroLink station. Be sure to bring small bills; many machines don’t accept bills larger than $10. *There are no turnstiles. Instead, you must validate your ticket at the red validation machine on the platform before boarding the train or risk a citation and fine. *Stations are generally clean and safe, with transit police well represented at each stop. Stations are marked with a blue circular sign with a red square and white “M.” *There are two MetroLink lines. From downtown, the Red Line angles to the northwest and ends at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport. The Blue Line angles into the southwest suburbs. Both lines run from the Arch/Laclede’s Landing stop downtown west to the Forest Park-DeBaliviere stop before splitting off in their respective directions. *From Monday to Friday, the first eastbound MetroLink train leaves Lambert-St. Louis International Airport at 4:28 a.m., the last at 12:11 a.m. Westbound service from its Illinois terminus (Shiloh/Scott) starts at 4:03 a.m. and ends at 11:30pm. On Saturday and Sunday, the first eastbound train leaves Lambert-St. Louis International Airport at 5;32 a.m., the last at 11:17 p.m. Westbound service from Illinois starts at 5:34 a.m. and ends at 10:53 p.m. *Find rail and bus maps at the Metro website.
It’s worth renting a car in St. Louis. The city is still a major crossroads for the country, with four major interstates passing through town. That makes it easy to not only to get to St. Louis but to move around from one part of town to the other fairly quickly. (Keep in mind that rush-hour traffic flows into downtown in the morning, out of downtown in the afternoon.) For addresses, there’s an east-west numbering grid; the farther west you drive from the Mississippi River downtown, the higher the street number. With such organization, having your own car is perhaps the easiest form of St. Louis transportation. Parking around town is plentiful and cheap (except around Busch Stadium at game time). Downtown street meters cost $1/hour and are free in most areas after 7 p.m.
St. Louis’ mass-transit system operates on a much smaller scale than, say, Washington, D.C.’s Metro or Chicago’s CTA. But the combination of MetroLink light rail and MetroBus works well, especially for tourists who plan to commute mostly between the downtown and Forest Park tourist attractions.
There are a number of different taxi services that operate within St. Louis. Most follow the fare guidelines set by the St. Louis Metropolitan Taxi Commission, which are $2 for first 1/10 mile, and $0.20 for each additional 1/10 mile. There’s a fuel surcharge ($1) and extra fees for each additional passenger ($1) and for trips originating at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport ($3). If you need to call for a cab, the joint Yellow Cab/St. Louis County Cab Company operates the largest fleet in town: 314-993-TAXI (8294).